unwelcome, halloween!

Friday, September 30, 2011

oct 1st is tomorrow and i'm officially putting up halloween today (it's a little deal I have with my husband-if I could, I'd have our decorations up at the beginning of september...ahhh...compromise).

anyway, to get ready for the halloween season, i thought i'd make a welcome mat, halloween style.
i began with this little beauty.
ps. i've been wanting to do this project for a while now but never found the perfect mat until now. the mat needs to look so innocent, so perfectly normal.
like this:

and then something terrible happened,
a mean, evil person came in in the middle of the night and put graffiti on my welcome mat.
and changed it to

oh wait, that was me.

super simple project.
but it makes me smile.

things i've learned:
1. i probably should have used a stencil or something...but i wanted it to look like freehanded, graffiti work(but still legible).
2. at least two coats are necessary for this kind of project. the mat soaked up all of the paint the first time-i might even end up doing to do a 3rd coat before i put her in her rightful spot later today.

linking up:

yardsale goodies

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

the weather is changing. it's getting cold and rainy, which means, it's almost time for yardsale season to be done. *le major sigh.
never fear,  i'll survive. and i'll capitalize on the few yardsales that are left in the season. and in the meantime, I'm plotting away trying to decide what to do with these excellent finds.

the possibilities for the  tablecloths (2 large ones, both .50 each) are making me salivate.
and that side table. oh. be still my heart. i cannot wait to put some paint on that sweet thing.
i even bought some of martha stewart's stencils to inspire me. holy cow. come on weekend. i'm ready to play!


what are your thoughts?

what would YOU do with the tablecloths?
random box of christmas figurines and mini christmas trees?
halloween plush toys?
our dear friend, Frosty the snowman?(ps. i refuse to feel remorse over that $2 spent. he was cheap, he works. and though I'm 100% we won't be putting him on our front lawn, i know that he will have a home in our christmas decor. now, to decide where. hmmm)....

i'd love to hear your suggestions/thoughts.
ok. your turn.

wall o' frames...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

inspired by my new chalkboard, i set out to find some more frames for my latest project.
it took few yardsale trips but i finally came up with some.
each frame cost approximately $1
spray paint about $6 total
so when you think of it... $13 (not counting the chalkboard project)

check it out:

i love it! it's in my kitchen so it's one of the first things that people see when they walk in my house. plus, i have a super huge window in my front room, which means all the lucky people driving by get to see it. love. love. love.

seriously. this is one of the easiest (and cheapest) projects i've done. go. do one. now.

things i've learned:
1. i hate doing it. but FOLLOW directions. if the directions say to let the paint dry before applying a second coat-by all means, let the paint dry.*sigh
2. this one may seem obvious, but detailed frames always paint better than plain ones.they take a few more coats but ultimately they look better. it's hard to tell from the pic but most of them have some sort of detailing
3. my journey into a crafting world has the potential to turn me into a hoarder...if I'm not properly organized. i *may have bought 20 frames in my quest for my wall of frames. now...must. create. projects. for. surplus frames (i doubt this will be a problem)
4. I need a better version of iphoto or photoshop. something to edit my pictures. oh and the skills to be a better photographer! it's a process, right?

linking to:

sisterly love

Monday, September 26, 2011

this was a busy weekend. and i got to spend most of it with my sister.

on friday, my sister and i made a cake for one of my dear friends. (well, it was for her husband but it was part of her birthday present to him). apparently, he's a big angry birds fan so she wanted a cake that was inspired by the game. the catch was, the cake needed to survive a five hour trip to the beach...in a cooler.
so we weren't able to do as many elaborate decorations as we would have liked but i think what we came up with looks pretty good.
and he loved it. so even better.

on saturday, my sister and i set up the halloween decorations at my parents' house. we had apple cider brewing, apple cake baking, and orange and black decorations dotting the house. a perfect night. my mom has a lot of decor that just gets put away during a holiday season (usually, we have a clear some space on the walls/tables for the decor.). one such decoration is a set of three black, square frames. the frames each have an embroidered design/word in them. instead of taking them down this year, we decided to halloween them up.
we took some super cool black and white striped wrapping paper (from target), cut it into a square.
then we found these guys in the leftover decoration bin.

put them together, with a little bit of masking tape, some scissors, and a hot glue gun, and you've got a 3-D type halloween decoration. this one literally didn't cost me anything. my favorite!

this week, I'll be putting up my own halloween decorations in preparation for our family's FIRST halloween party. details to come...
i can't wait!!!!


a front door frame...for the fall

Friday, September 23, 2011

you'll soon realize i have an obsession for all things square. which is why i love the recent trend of putting frames on your front door instead of a regular wreath.
i found this sweet frame at a yardsale earlier in the summer.
eagerly awaiting his next charge

it is perfect. so much so, that I'm afraid to paint it. i love it so much, i don't want to alter it and make it just a one season decoration.
i turned it into one of my old faithfuls. instead of painting it or permanently putting something on it, i had the idea to keep it "neutral." each holiday season, I make some sort of decoration to go on the frame temporarily (amazingly, masking tape works beautifully for this!) and then when the season is over, I have my cool frame back.

so for fall, i decided to keep it simple. a a few felt flowers, a ribbon, and a button (naturally).
super simple felt flowers...awesome jewely colors

put the two together and you've got yet another inexpensive, eye-catching decoration to put on your front door
pay not attention to the boring color door. all in due time, my friend...

or in your house...
if this were really going in my house, I'd pair it with a few other items...

and there you have it. can we talk about how much i love this time of year? i'm pratically giddy.

have a good day!

here's where i'm linking today:

old faithfuls...

Thursday, September 22, 2011


while i wish i had a disposable income, free to spend as much as i would like to decorate my home for every holiday (i'm a firm believer that even "talk like a pirate day" deserves a decoration on my mantel!), with the economy the way it is, and with me only working part-time so i can be a full-time momma, i have to be a bit more creative about my decor.
i've started collecting some stuff that I consider my "old faithfuls."
i'd like you to meet my two favorite old faithfuls. i've found these at various thrifty stores and am in love with them.so. much. i mean, in reality, they're just cupcake stands.

don't be deceived by their dainty appearance...
but i use them for holiday specimen jars. at the risk of sounding cheesy-they're meant to capture the essence of the holiday! for example,  for st. patty's day, they captured a wandering gnome or leprechaun. (see below)

i almost feel sorry for this little guy, trapped in a glass.
 at a yardsale the other day i found this guy for $1
pure, innocent little pumpkin jar
and he reminded me of my little cupcake stands. which got me to thinking. i remembered i had a trifle bowl from pampered chef (the kind with the removable base)...
whatever could come of this combination?
and then magically, this happened:
it's almost as if it were meant to be...
voila...a pumpkin cupcake stand/specimen jar.

for my pre-halloween decor (i always bring out some pumpkins, mums, etc before the end of August),  i've decided to bring out the old faithfuls again. this time, they've captured some pumpkins which they're proudly displaying, in all their glory.


here they are:

it still makes me giggle to think that a pumpkin is displaying a pumpkin. teehee

ultimately, it's a quick (and thrifty) way to decorate! not to mention, it's pretty rad looking, too.

that's one of the ways i'm able to cut back on my decorating budget. what about you?
how are you all able to stay thrifty and cute?

places i'm linked to:


5 minute, $3 dollar halloween decor

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

walking through the dollar store I noticed these "3-D" cut-out halloween decor. they're meant to stand up on tables and the like. or you can do like what i do with most dollar store items and use them as a jumping off point.

so as soon as i got home, i paired this little beauty with a frame i picked up for $1 at my latest yardsale.

can you already see where i'm going with this?

i took my glue gun and laid a thick line of glue on the inside "lip' of the frame (the part where the glass would sit) and quickly glued the decoration to it.

the result is this:
a cute little decoration for a shelf
but...i thought I'd put it somewhere else...I wanted the shadow of the tree to show off more and i wasn't getting that with it sitting on a shelf...
so, i found some ribbon that I just purchased for another project (i LOVE Michael's halloween ribbon. the b/w striped is my fave!) and I hung it on my wall. It's hard to tell from here, but when it's hanging on the wall, it casts a bit of a shadow on the wall. slightly spooky. all sorts of cool.
 since I liked that one so much, i thought I'd see what it looked like hanging on my front door. I might like it. though i was planning on doing a little bit of color out front.
 ahh...decisions, decisions.

so there you have it.
the longest part of the project (total of 5 minutes) was heating up the glue gun and deciding where to hang it.
and it literally cost no more that $3 since i bought the ribbon (on sale) and only used a tiny portion for it.

things i've learned:
1. a project doesn't have to be complex to make a big impact. i kept thinking that i needed to add more to it but i'm really glad i decided to keep it simple. i love it.
2. i might need to get a ton more storage bins. at the rate i'm going, my halloween collection will easily fit 3 large bins. (oops!)

places i'm linked to:

run. do not walk...

Monday, September 19, 2011

a sampling of my dollar store finds...ahh, the possibilities
 how have i not realized discovered the gold mine that is the dollar store when it comes to holiday decor.
a girlfriend of mine and i went shopping today all over town in search of inspiring halloween decor. most places were a dud. we might have found the occasional cool thing-
but it wasn't until we went in the dollar store that the lightbulb went off and i suddenly knew how i wanted to decorate my house for halloween.
and i can't wait to share.

first up.
super easy sign.
and it'll cost me about $4...
details tomorrow.

what about you?
what halloween dollar store projects are you working on?

mirror to chalkboard goodness

i was in big lots the other day and discovered a super cool looking mirror.  the mirror was broken but the frame was still in tact.
i put on my haggling shoes and asked the manager if they'd be willing to sell it to me for $5 (originally it was $20). he agreed and this pretty little baby came home with me.
immediately, i knew that i wanted to take out the glass and replace it with a chalkboard.
i painted the frame orange because it is just meant to go in my kitchen (colors: green and orange)...
it is perfect.

check it out:

broken, dusty mirror

awesome shaped frame-begging to be painted

the finished product on my green wall
(though the lighting makes it look pea green.
it isn't. weird)

things that I've learned:
1. there is such a thing as chalkboard spray paint, mr. lowes man. I probably should have tried it. The kind from the can took many (at least 3-4) coats
2. save the glass from the mirror. i've got some ideas for using that left over mirror. (storing it is the tricky part)

aside from the multiple paint coats, this was easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

i'm linking up to:
<a href="http://tipjunkie.com/" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.tipjunkie.com/images/TipMeTuesdayButton1.png" alt="Tip Junkie handmade projects" border="0"/></a>


elvis has left the building

but he left behind this lamp.

i found this at a yardsale on saturday and to be honest, it was just too tacky to pass up.

i have NO idea what i'm going to do with this thing.
all of the details (cool crystaly looking things) are plastic (even the vinyl tablecloth lampshade), that is, of course except for the rim of velvet painted ribbon on top.
it's beyond cheap.
beyond tacky.
and i think i love it.

help me.
what would you guys do with this tacky lamp (aside from putting it in your elvis shrine room, naturally)?

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